Craig featured at next lecture
What happens when cultures clash, and one person tries to get them to live together? This Thursday, in the fourth lecture of the Historical Museum Fall Lecture series, Lin Tull Cannell will present from her book, “The Intermediary: William Craig Among the Nez Perces.”
At a time when Americans were only exploring what are now western states, William Craig tried to broker peace between the Nez Perce and newcomers from the East. A native Virginian on the run, Craig became a mountain man, married into the tribe, immersed himself in two cultures on a collision course. Craig’s story takes us from his flight from Virginia to his days as a mountain man – exploring and trapping for the Hudson’s Bay Company and celebrating at the fabled rendezvous.
Cannell wrote that “I was born and bred in the interior Northwest, but it was not until I had spent almost 30 years working elsewhere and retired back to north central Idaho that I questioned that which I had always accepted.
“As I meandered through the hills and canyons around Orofino, I noticed the name ‘Craig’ here and there on the Clearwater River watershed: the village of Craigmont on the Camas Prairie, Craig’s Ferry on a sign along the Clearwater River, and, in the Lapwai Valley, a Highway 195 marker declaring that William Craig, a former fur trapper and a ‘bluff, jolly good fellow,’ had once lived there. But local libraries yielded little information about Craig. There was no Craig biography other than a magazine article by a local historian, and the usually verbose literature of the fur trade offered but scant paragraphs about him.”
His dramatic story turned out to be central to how the Inland Empire region of the Northwest developed. Fifteen years in the making, the book was published by Ridenbaugh Press, of Carlton, Oregon, a publisher of books on Northwest public affairs and history.
Lin Tull Cannell was born in Coeur d’Alene, raised in the Northwest, and earned a degree in public administration from the University of San Francisco. She has written on William Craig for the University of Washington’s Pacific Northwest Quarterly. Lin lives in Orofino, Idaho.
The lecture presentation is Thursday, October 20, at 7:00 p.m. in the Johanna Room at Spirit Center, behind the Historical Museum at St. Gertrude. This event is free and a book signing will follow. For more information call 208-962-2050 or visit www.HistoricalMuseumatStGertrude.org